The first stages of the pathway by which lymphocytes differentiate from hemopoietic stem cells were studied at a clonal level. When 211 interleukin 3 (IL-3)-induced blast colonies shown to be capable of differentiating into a variety of hemopoietic cells were Individually transferred into wells containing a monolayer of stromal cells, growth in granulocyte, macrophage, megakaryocyte, or mast cell lineages was observed In 192 wells. In seven of these 192 wells, lymphoid cell growth also was seen. The lymphoid cells were proved to be B lymphocytes by phenotype and immunoglobulin gene rearrangement analyses and by demonstration of surface expression of IgM. The clonal origin of myeloid and B lymphocyte lineage cells was further confirmed by the generation of both myeloid and B lymphoid cells in the same well following FACS clone-sorting of IL-3 induced blast cells. These results provide in vitro evidence that cells of B lymphoid and myeloid lineage can originate clonally from single primitive hemopoietic stem cells.
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